Halloween might look a little bit different this year without the big monster mash or the knock at the door from kids dressed up as ghosts, ghouls, and freaks of the night; but you don’t have to look far if you want to give yourself a fright. Warwickshire and Worcestershire are home to some of the most haunted places, and we’ve pulled together our top ten, guaranteed to chill your spine.
1. Coombe Abbey
The friars of Coombe Abbey are tales of legend. Now a hotel and country park, visitors have reported seeing a cowled figure floating around the grounds. The restless spirit is believed to be Abbott Geoffrey from the 12th century, brutally murdered and whose murderer was never caught, proving to be the downfall of the monastery.
Abbott Geoffrey is not the only spirit of the night to roam the grounds of Coombe Abbey, Matilda was a young gypsy girl whose footsteps can be heard pattering across the cobbles near the stables.
2. Ettington Park Hotel
The imposing Victorian mansion in Alderminster not too far from Shipston-on-Stour and Stratford-upon-Avon is spooky enough to look at from the outside, especially in the depths of Autumn and Winter. The beautiful neo-gothic architecture fits the bill of your typical haunted house, so much so the exterior was used in 1963’s The Haunting. There have been many tales of spirits scaring guests and staff of the hotel but the most terrifying is that of Lady Emma who has been seen by many swishing along the halls.
3. Warwick Castle
There is far more spooky than that of Warwick Castle when it comes to Warwickshire. The castle was built in 1068, with settlements on the site dating back 150 years before. The castle’s most well-known ghost is Sir Fulke Greville who was a former resident of the castle but killed brutally by a servant in 1628. There’s also poltergeist activity in the dungeons, temperature changes, light anomalies, and sensations of being pushed or grabbed.
4. Shrieves House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Few people on the ghost hunt at The Falstaffs are brave enough to stand alone on the staircase at Shrieves House and Barn; sinister voices, heavy footsteps, and a metallic scraping sound are commonly heard here, and many are so afraid they refuse to return.
The Battle of Edgehill was a pitched battle of the First English Civil War that took place on 23rd October 1642. Sightings of the ghostly re-enactment were first reported in 1642 by Shepherds as they walked across the battlefield before Christmas. Villagers from Kineton too reported ghostly sightings and to try and stop the apparitions, gave Christian burial to all the corpses on the battlefield. To this day, haunting sounds and apparitions have been witnessed at the site of the battle and the sounds of canons, hooves, and battle cries are still heard in the night around the time of the battle.
6. The Angel, Pershore
The Angel is of Tudor origins, built using old ship timbers brought downriver by boat from the breaker’s yard in Worcestershire. The timbers still remain and it has been claimed that salt has been seen oozing from the beams in the lounge of the hotel. There have been many claims of paranormal activity surrounding the Angel, located on what would be the main road between London and Worcester. One story in particular is of a large man in a naval uniform appearing between two tables in the restaurant.
7. Pershore Abbey
This impressive medieval Abbey was founded in 689 AD by King Oswald. Much of the Abbey’s architecture is from the 13th century and dominated today by the pinnacle tower. A funeral path between the village of Wick and Pershore Abbey is thought to be haunted by a Monk.
8. The Spirit House, Evesham
Built in Tudor times from some of the remaining stones of the old Evesham Abbey, the Spirit House is fast becoming one of the most actively haunted houses in the Midlands. Built in 1544 it has borne witness to many deaths. People have left terrified after seeing chairs and tables mobbing on their own and hearing the sounds of children crying.
9. Site of The Battle of Evesham
The battle marked the defeat of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and many hundreds were beheaded and dismembered during the war. The site was not only home to the Battle of Evesham but was also part of the English Civil War and is thought to be one of the haunted battle sites of Britain.
10. Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle has now been named the second spookiest English Heritage site and at 900-years-old it is no surprise. Staff at the Castle have encountered ghostly figures, an antique cot rocking by itself, and the smell of pipe smoke at the castle.
So, there you have it, COVID-19 isn’t the scariest thing of Halloween after all.